LSU Defeat Bulldogs 16-4

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU dialed long distance to win its 11th straight baseball game Saturday afternoon, as the Tigers hit four home runs and cruised to a 16-4 victory over Mississippi State at Alex Box Stadium.

LSU improved to 34-16-1 overall and 14-11-1 in conference play, while MSU fell to 20-31 and 7-19. The Tigers remained in first place in the Western Division standings thanks to an eighth straight win in conference play.

Ryan Schimpf had four hits and hit a pair of home runs to highlight a 16-hit day as the Tigers continued their weekend-long closing down of the historic stadium.

The Bulldogs actually scored first Saturday. Grant Hogue led off the game with a single. After moving to second base on a groundout, Hogue scored thanks to his 24th stolen base of the season and a throwing error on the steal attempt.

LSU erased the deficit with a four-run third inning. In that at-bat, Leon Landry, Schimpf, Michael Hollander and Jared Mitchell began the inning with consecutive singles. Hollander's hit scored Landry, while Schimp was retired trying to take an extra base. A towering three-run home run by Blake Dean gave LSU a 4-1 advantage.

An inning later, the Tigers expanded the lead with five more runs. D. J. LeMahieu started things with a one-out single. Leon Landry followed with a two-run home run. Consecutive singles by Schimpf, Hollander and Mitchell ended the day for MSU starter Ricky Bowen. Mitchell's hit scored Schimpf to make the lead 7-1. Michael Busby followed Bowen to the mound. A wild pitch scored one run while an RBI-single by Micah Gibbs scored another.

In the fifth inning, a solo home run by Schimpf ran the lead to 10-1 LSU.

The Bulldogs scored in the next at-bat when Tyler Moore hit his team-best 13th home run of the season over the left field fence.

LSU extended the lead with three more scores in the seventh inning.

MSU capped its scoring with two runs in the eighth inning. Ryan Powers reached on an infield error and later scored on a double by Mark Goforth. Andy Rice followed with a single. Tyler Moore hit a groundball out scoring Goforth.

Schimpf hit his second home run of the day with a three-run shot over the right field fence in the home half of the eighth inning.

The Tigers finished with 16 hits. Schimpf had four hits to pace the LSU offensive attack. Landry, Hollander and Mitchell each had multiple hits for the hosts.

The Bulldogs finished with five hits.

Winning pitcher Blake Martin (4-3) worked seven innings for LSU. Martin allowed two hits and two runs (one earned), with two walks and eight strikeouts. Nolan Cain and Austin Ross threw an inning apiece in relief for LSU.

Bowen (3-6) took the loss for MSU. Bowen threw 3-1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and nine runs (all earned), with one walk and three strikeouts. Busby also threw 3-1/3 innings, allowing four hits and four runs (two earned), with three walks and two strikeouts. Forrest Moore completed the contest for MSU.

The Bulldogs and Tigers play the final regular season game at Alex Box Stadium in a 1 p.m. start Sunday. MSU is scheduled to throw senior left-hander Justin Pigott (2-2, 4.42 ERA ). while the LSU starter has not been determined. The Bulldogs will then return home for a four-game homestand to close out the 2008 season. MSU will host Memphis at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday before hosting Arkansas for a weekend SEC series with game times of 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 6:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday.

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